On this website, as well as other places online such as the sous vide subreddit, there are often questions regarding the power consumption of sous vide cooking. Questions like the following:
How much power is used for a typical sous vide cook?
How much impact does the water bath insulation have on sous vide power usage?
How do water ovens compare to sous vide immersion circulators on power usage?
Is sous vide power usage something that we really need to be concerned about?
Motivated by this and our own curiosity, we decided to define and run a Sous Vide Power Consumption Benchmark to gather some empirical data on this interesting topic. Hopefully, this article will answer some of the questions you have regarding power usage during sous vide cooking.
This is the first of a number of vacuum sealer reviews we will be doing in the months ahead. This one is particularly exciting since it is on a chamber vacuum sealer - the PolyScience 300 Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer. This unit has nearly unlimited uses for both food storage and food preparation, especially for modernist cooking techniques such as sous vide and infusion.
We were quite fortunate to have PolyScience Culinary provide us with their 300 Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer for this review. They characterize this Vacuum Sealer as a "Maintenance-free design which provides professional-level features at a home cook's price." The short 2 minute video below will give you a quick introduction to the PolyScience unit.
Some sous vide recipes say you should boil your meat before you seal it, what is that about? I thought the point of sous viding it was to keep it at a lower temperature, definitely not boiling it. I heard it has something to do with killing bacteria, but doesn't sous vide do that anyway?
Thanks - Jackson
Thanks for the question! There's a few different things going on here and I'll try to address them all.
First off, the boiling is usually done to kill "lactobacillus", a type of bacteria that actually thrives in the lower temperature range of sous vide cooking. This bacteria isn't harmful to you, it's actually the same kind that is used a lot when making cheese and yogurt. However, it does tend to smell bad, so your food can have a funky or "bad cheese" smell to it. It can also cause your bag to puff up which can affect the transfer of heat.
I have a five pound prime rib that I want to make. I've been using sous vide for a year and I love it. Modernist Cooking is my go-to site, but I'm confused. I see 134 degrees for no more than 10 hours here, and 125.6 degrees at 24-36 hours on another site that I don't trust as much. But that site shows edge-to-edge medium rare that they torch for crispness like I will. I wonder if it's too soft though. Please help? Pretty please?
With the holidays in full swing, I've been getting a lot of questions on the best way to cook prime rib. Everyone wants to impress their family at holiday dinners, and prime rib is a great way to do it...provided you cook it properly. My family and I almost always do prime rib for our Christmas dinner and now with sous vide it's incredibly easy and convenient to make.
Based on my research and experience at home, here's everything you need to know about sous viding prime rib for your next family dinner. If you are looking for more information about prime rib in general, or prefer a more traditional way to cook prime rib, I highly recommend reading the Serious Eats article discussing it.
Simple syrup is a sweet, easily dissolved liquid that is perfect for cocktails or sodas. It's usually around a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. The water is heated enough for the sugar to melt, then the mixture is cooled. The simple syrup can then be used to sweeten drinks without any of the grittiness that can occur when using plain sugar.
There are many types of simple syrup, depending on what type of sugar you use and whether or not their are any spices or herbs used during the process.
The holidays are often a time of scrambling to find "more stuff" that people in your life will want. While we all love to get gifts, sometimes it's the handmade items that we can actually use that mean the most to us. There are many great food gift ideas that meet this criteria, but you can only stand to get so many fruit cakes each year!
As many of you know, I've had infusions on the brain this year, so I decided to make several infusions to give as gifts. I'm also helping my mother-in-law make infusions to give to all of her friends.
There are many benefits to making infusions as gifts:
Easy to make in large quantities
Can tailor them to specific people
Used over time, so they think of you often
Most will last for several weeks, if not months
Inexpensive compared to buying pre-made flavored oils and vinegars
When making the infusions, you can use any of the main infusing methods, including traditional infusions, sous vide infusions, whipping siphon infusions, or fat washing. Regardless of the method, or the types of infusions, the process is the same. Here are some step-by-step directions for giving infusions as gifts.
I recently finished my boook Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Infusions. While it was a really fun book to work on, I did end up with more infused alcohols, vinegars and oils than I knew what to do with! I gave a lot of them way to my friends and family, but one of the uses I enjoyed most was using them in cocktails. I thought I'd share some of what I've learned, some of which is also in the book.
I try to keep it simple when creating cocktails using infused spirits and usually turn to recipes that will showcase the infusion while subtly complementing it. I tend to stick to variations of traditional cocktails that are easy to tweak, letting the infusion shine.
Modernist equipment can be expensive! But every year around Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday there are great deals that can make the equipment much more affordable. I'll be updating this page with the latest deals, when they run, and how to get them. So whether you are looking for gifts for your friends and family or a little something for yourself, you'll be able to see it all here!
Did you know that I also have a Modernist Gift Guide? It's the perfect place to find gift ideas for all your friends and family.
Seen a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal I should know about? Let me know! Or post a comment!
I had the opportunity to attend the recent grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in Brooklyn. The museum is the first of its kind and was celebrating the launch of its first permanent space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is housed in a 5,000 square foot warehouse that they hope to expand in several years. The museum consists of exhibits detailing the history and makeup of various cooking ingredients as well as several interactive exhibits.
The day started off with a presentation by several of the key members of the museum, including Founder Dave Arnold, Executive Director Peter Kim, several members of the Advisory and Culinary Boards such as Jessica Harris, Elizabeth Falkner and Bill Telepan. They talked about the uniqueness of the museum, the long road to get where it is, and the vision for the future.
This is a detailed review of the Nomiku, an inexpensive immersion circulator initially funded by an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. This circulator, attached to a suitable container, will provide an excellent water bath for sous vide cooking. If you are interested in getting involved with sous vide cooking, this review will give you all of the information you need to determine if the Nomiku is the right immersion circulator for your needs.
This past weekend my wife and I got to tour the Breuckelen Distillery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. We were part of a small group that Brad Estabrooke showed around the distillery thanks to Open House New York.
The distillery is located in a warehouse district sandwiched between the water and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. While the exterior isn't much to look at, it took my wife and I a few tries to find the door amid all the industrial building, the owners are proud of their place in Brooklyn. Not only naming the distillery after Brooklyn but also their current line of whiskey is called "77 Whiskey" after the street address, 77 19th Street, and all the distilling and aging take place in Brooklyn.
While the outside of the distillery isn't picturesque, once you step inside you know it's a serious operation. A huge still, mixer, and tanks dominate the room, with shrink-wrapped barrels stacked on pallets next to sacks of grain. Over the next hour Brad showed us around the place and explained what role everything played in the process of turning water and wheat into whiskey. We even got to sample freshly distilled whiskey straight out of the still and smell the difference between the head, tails, and heart of the current batch.
One of the benefits of moving to Brooklyn is all the exciting food events that occur in the city. An event I'm really excited for is the opening of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), a new addition to the food and museum scene here. The museum has been at events before but they are moving into their first permanent space of around 5,000 square feet in Williamsburg.
The museum is opening at the end of October and promises to be a pretty awesome place. From hosting food and science speakers, as well as chefs doing demo, in addition to their interactive exhibits there should be a rotating selection of cool things to do (and eat!).
Check out all the sous vide machine benchmark information you've been curious about.
With the wide range of sous vide machines available there are definitely differences in performance. Here is our look at how all the various machines respond to a specific set of tests.
As I have performed detailed reviews on numerous sous vide machines I thought it would be informative to have some objective information regarding their performance. So I decided to define a benchmark that I could put each sous vide machine through and gather some useful information regarding its performance.
The primary purpose of a sous vide machine is to keep the water bath at an accurate and consistent temperature during the cooking period, whether that's minutes, hours or days. However, there are occasions when the temperature of the water bath needs to be increased significantly - one of those is during startup.
This post will address the question of how long this startup time normally takes. First, I will describe the various factors which impact the length of this startup time. Then I will introduce the Sous Vide Machine Benchmark I have developed and summarize the startup time information I have measured.
Using sharp knives is both safer and easier than using dull ones. There are various way to ensure your knives stay sharp, including using knife sharpeners on them. However, the best way to prevent them from becoming dull in the first place.
Knives will also start to dull through everyday use, but that doesn't mean you should abuse them. There are several ways people prematurely dull their knifes such as:
There are many reasons to keep your knives sharp. Not only is cutting with sharp knives much easier, it's also much safer because you are using less force. You can keep your knives sharp in various ways but getting a home sharpener is a great way to keep them finely honed.
There is a wide range of knife sharpeners available to the home cook. Here are some of the better rated ones on Amazon.
About a week ago I mentioned in a tweet that I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early version of a Fini Cutlery Knife to test out. Now that I've had more time to use it I wanted to write a full review.
Fini Cutlery is one of the new breed of knife companies that instead of just tweaking the appearance of knives are reassessing the entire knife from tip to heel. I have seen several knives do this lately, including the NextGen San Sebastian ergonomic knife I reviewed, and they all attack this problem in a different way.
Fini Cutlery takes the novel approach of removing most of the handle, resulting in a better "chef balanced" knife. Or as they like to say "Less handle. More control."
The whole Fini premise depends on cooks who hold their knife "properly", in the traditional chef's style pinch or blade grip. In case you are unfamiliar with this style, Fini explains it in their video or you can check out this Serious Eats article on it.
Hi Alejo, that's a good question. In general, agar gels are brittle (they fall apart) while locust bean gum adds elasticity (makes them chewier and stay together). For gels that are being shaped, especially the gel noodles, the elasticity is critical, otherwise they tend to fall apart. For things like cubes or softer gels, you don't have to have the locust bean gum, the gels will just be less chewy.
I cooked sous vide London Broil @ 133°F for 72 hours. The water temp was accurate. Every 12 hours I checked the water level and each time there was more and more liquid in the bag. The meat ended up well done and dry. Any thoughts?
Thanks for writing in, Mark!
London Broil can be a hard dish to troubleshoot! London Broil isn't actually a specific cut of beef, it's just a marketing term that can encompass several different cuts of meat including flank steak, top round, or chuck steak. Depending on the actual cut, the amount of sous vide time will vary.
To me, fish is already very tender, so why would I spend all that time on sous vide fish?? Am I missing something??
Great question Judy!
There are several advantages to using sous vide to cook fish but to me the biggest advantage to sous vide is the convenience. Fish only takes 15 to 45 minutes to cook, so I typically toss it into the bag and get it into the water bath right away. Then I get started cooking the side dish(es). By the time the sides are done, the fish is perfectly cooked (with no attention needed from me) so I can take it out and eat the whole meal at the same time.
Your recipe calls for "Sushi Quality" fish, what the heck is that? I'm sous viding the fish, not eating it raw so what does sushi have to do with it?
Thanks - Johnathon
Many sous vide fish recipes specify using "high quality" or "sushi quality" fish. While it's always good to use higher quality ingredients, it is important from a safety standpoint for lower-temperature fish recipes (anything cooked below 130°F to 140°F (54.4°C to 60.0°C).
I made some Tabasco hot sauce but what I find is that the chilies and vinegar separates in the bottle when standing on the rack for a long time. To try to prevent this my thought was to use xanthan gum, is this the right approach?
I was recently asked this question about what the best method of stabilizing a sauce is. Sauces, emulsions, and other mixtures are basically two or more types of ingredients that don't fully mix but are held in suspension. So an emulsion is typically a mixture of oil and vinegar and a hot sauce is a mixture of chile particles and vinegar. The problem with these mixtures is that when they sit, the two ingredients separate from each other. This is why salad dressing often needs to be shaken up before using it.
This is a detailed review of the Anova Precision Cooker, an inexpensive immersion circulator manufactured by Anova Culinary LLC. This circulator, attached to a suitable container, will provide an excellent water bath for sous vide cooking. If you are interested in getting involved with sous vide cooking, this review will give you all of the information you need to determine if the Anova Precision Cooker is the right immersion circulator for your needs.
I was recently approached by Joseph, from "Frankfurter Brett", who wanted to show off their new cutting board system. It's basically a workbench for the kitchen and it looks pretty awesome. They are currently in their Kickstarter campaign and hoping to find supporters. You can read all of my thoughts below and I highly recommend you go check out their page, including their awesome videos, and see what you think.
Here in the US it is the 4th of July, which we typically celebrate with BBQs and picnics with large groups of friends. Here's some menu options for when you plan your upcoming parties, whether they are for the 4th, or any time this summer.
I'm a big fan of the SousVide Supreme machines, though the price is usually too high to justify one. They are currently running a special where you can get the Demi for only $179, which is $150 off the normal price. It's a good deal if you are looking for a sous vide machine and puts it in range of the usually less expensive circulators.
Spring is officially here and I'm not about to let the weather ruin it. Just because it is supposed to snow tomorrow in New England doesn't mean I can't pretend it is spring! Here are some great recipes from around the internet for anyone else trying to shake off the doldrums of winter and move into spring.
I answer this Ask Jason question: I had a few questions about measuring modernist ingredients. I see a lot of the recipes use a percent sign, like "Xanthan Gum, 0.3%" what does that mean? Also, why are most of the ingredients listed by weight and not tablespoons or cups? And how exact do I have to be when measuring?
I'm really excited to announce the official launch of my next book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Party Foods. I'm really excited about this book and I think a lot of people will use it to really impress their friends.
I have exciting news, I've decided to merge my two main websites, Cooking Sous Vide and Modernist Cooking Made Easy. Sous vide is a big part of modernist cooking and having all the information in one place made the most sense, as well as taking advantage of the active communities on each site. This will allow me to better focus my efforts and continue providing valuable information to you.
There are so many different things you can do with a sous vide machine that it can be hard to figure out what you want to try first. I think there's two categories of sous vide foods, things you can use sous vide to cook better, and things you can only do with sous vide. Here's some of my favorite things to do sous vide.
One of the more common questions I am asked is "What is the best way to seal your food for sous vide cooking?". There are so many options for sealing your food that it can get confusing figuring out exactly what you need. There are several ways of doing it, ranging from large chambered vacuum sealers costing over a thousand dollars all the way down to Ziploc bags from the grocery store. Here's the low down on what you'll need to master the art of sealing your sous vide food.
While a chambered vacuum sealer is the best way to do sous vide, they are several hundred dollars and overkill for many home kitchens. Many people turn to FoodSaver-type sealers, which can be convenient but they are expensive to buy bags for and can't really be used with liquids. So what is a home cook to do?
One of the areas sous vide falls short is creating that nice flavorful, brown crust on foods. Luckily there are several ways to finish of foods after they have been sous vided to create the crust without further cooking the food. The whole goal of post sous vide browning is to create the crust while heating the interior of the food as little as possible. The main keys to accomplishing this goal are dry foods, high temperatures, and short times.
Based on my testing while I was writing my book, I answer the following questions:
Hey Jason, which size of whipping siphon should I get? I'm looking at either the .5 liter or the 1 liter, what do you think is best? Do I need to get the iSi Thermo siphon? I'll normally be cooking for 4-10 people, if that matters.
I thought Thanksgiving would be a good time to launch our newest feature "Modernist Potluck". It focuses on all the great content that is available on other websites that you might not follow. I'm thankful to the all the great modernist cooks out there that make this community such a fun thing to be a part of. Some of these posts are recent and some are a little older but I hope they all help inspire you in your cooking.
The official launch for my new book is finally here!? If you want to get the most out of your whipping siphon while impressing your friends and creating unique taste sensations then Modernist Cooking Made Easy: The Whipping Siphon is for you! It's also a great holiday gift to the adventurous cook in your life.
One question I often get asked is how to marinate meats when cooking them sous vide. The question is usually whether or not you can marinate meat while it is cooking in the sous vide machine. I figured I'd answer it here so other people can weigh in as well.
For the series finale of Breaking Bad my friends are getting together and having a viewing party. I figured it just wouldn't be a party without some meth, specifically in the form of blue-raspberry meth-mallows!
I was talking to Erika Landin the other day about MasterChef. Erika is the supervising casting producer and she was discussing how they haven't had any super-strong modernist cooks on the show in the previous seasons.
One of the things that fascinates me is seeing what everyone uses as their sous vide setup. We've decided to find out how much variety is out there by holding a "show us your setup" contest over the next month.
Just take a picture or two of your sous vide setup and email them to us at jason@AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com along with a short description of what you use. We will create a page with all the pictures and descriptions on it and we will pick two random winners who will get a copy of one of my books.
Whether you have a homemade sous vide setup or a normal sous vide machine, we want to see it!
The folks at Sous Vide Supreme have released another set of cooking videos, this time from Chef Jason Wilson. In order to see all of them you need to sign up for their newsletter, which usually has pretty good content in it. However, they did give us one to show on our site so all of you can view it.
It's for Thai Glazed Pork Ribs with Watermelon Jicama Salsa. I usually do my ribs at 135°-141°F but I might have to try them at the higher temperature. I haven't done watermelon like that either, definitely something I'll be trying this summer.
This month's contest is going to be for "Favorite Summer Sous Vide Recipes". We're looking for your favorite sous vide recipes that you love to make in summer. We'll be picking 3 winners. One for "Best Recipe", one for "Most Unique Recipe", and one random winner. Each winner will get a signed copy of either Beginning Sous Vide or Sous Vide Grilling.
To enter just go to our Sous Vide Recipes Forum and click "Add a New Topic" to enter in your recipe. You can add as many recipes as you like (each in a separate topic).
We'll also be reading the comments in each thread to help us determine what is "Best" and "Most Unique" so be sure to contribute to the threads on your favorite recipes!
Sous Vide supreme has come out with two more sous vide cookbooks. One for "Sous Vide Meat" and one for "Sous Vide Pots". I've ordered my copies and will do a proper review once they arrive but here's an overview for now.
One of the most common questions we get asked about our sous vide recipes is some variation of "the recipe says to cook it for 3 to 6 hours, but when is it actually done".
The short answer is that anytime within the given range the food is "done". As long as the food has been in the waterbath for more than the minimum time and less than the maximum time, then it is done. There isn't a specific magical moment of true doneness that can be generalized.
For those that want more information, here's the explanation why.
Thanks to everyone that participated in the Holiday Book Contest. We had a lot of new sign ups to the Sous Vide Newsletter and a ton of posts to the Sous Vide Forums, it's great to see everyone's contributions to building this community of sous vide lovers.
We're very excited to announce the launch of our Sous Vide Time and Temperature app for the Android. It's been available on the iPhone for a few months and after 1,200 downloads we've gotten a ton of great feedback and 4.5 star rating so we decided it was time to release it for the Android.
"The eGullet thread" is a much referenced and almost mythical thing in the sous vide community. It was a message thread on the eGullet website that was several hundred pages long and filled with information about sous vide and the evolution of our understanding about it.
We are happy to announce the launch of our Cooking Sous Vide newsletter!
The free Cooking Sous Vide newsletter will be sent every few weeks and each edition will contain tips, tricks, recipes, and how-to's for Cooking Sous Vide. They will also contain links to some of the best sous vide information on the internet.
Today we're happy to announce the launch of our Sous Vide Forums. We know there is a large demand in the sous vide community for a place to get together and exchange ideas and expertise with other people passionate about sous vide. We've created these forums as a way to address that need.
As we've mentioned elsewhere, we've decided to release the first 7 chapters of our Beginning Sous Vide book as a free "Beginning Sous Vide Guide". Our goal with this guide is to compile all of the information you need to get started with sous vide at home into one place. Many people starting with sous vide have trouble finding all the information they need and we're trying to address that.
Now that it's close to Thanksgiving it's time to talk sous vide turkey. What better way to show off your sous vide machine than making a moist, perfectly cooked turkey for you friends and family. Here's a few articles and recipes to get you started on your way.
We just launched our latest iPhone app. It's not related to sous vide but it is for cooking so I figured I'd pass it on. It's called "Produce Converter" and it basically converts produce to specific measurements.
We're very happy here to announce the release of our latest project, a sous vide app for the iPhone and iPad. It's designed to be a handy time and temperature reference for when you are in the kitchen and don't want to hop on the internet to find a cooking temperature.
We'd like to introduce our newest feature to the site, our "How To" section. The How Tos are designed to be an easy way for people with sous vide questions to ask them and have them answered by the community.
We're going to try and start something new here on the sous vide blog. We come across many sous vide links that don't necessarily warrant an entire blog post but we'd like to still share them with you. We'll try to post a list of these sous vide links about once a week. So here's the first installment.
I've been very curious to check out the new Sous Vide supreme cooker but couldn't justify spending more money on sous vide equipment. Luckily, through my contact at Sur La Table I managed to borrow a unit from them that I can play around with for a few weeks. I'll post a little more about the Sous Vide Supreme as I use it over the next few weeks but I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts.
With the success of our sous vide book Cooking Sous Vide: A Guide for the Home Cook we've decided to work on a supplemental book full of sous vide recipes. We have a lot of our own recipes but we're also going to be looking to the sous vide community for your favorite recipes.
Sur La Table finally launched their sous vide line of equipment. They partnered up with Julabo, "The Temperature Control Company" to manufacture all the equipment. They have immersion circulators and heated water baths (both circulating and non-circulating) as well as many accessories.
As sous vide cooking becomes more and more common we're asked more and more about the safety concerns associated with sous vide cooking. We decided to gather links to a few of the better articles addressing these issues, namely cooking in plastic and time and temperature safety. Hopefully these articles can start answering any questions you have about the safety of sous food cooking.
I recently purchased an iSi whipping siphon for easier creation of foams and also to carbonate various liquids. One of the first things I used it for was to create whipped cream (how can you not start there!).
Fresh Meals Solutions makes one of the most affordable sous vide cooking devices with their SousVideMagic cooking controller and we got a sneak peak at their newest sous vide product, their FreshMealsMagic sous vide cooker.
Sur la Table is set to make an announcement regarding the launch of a line of sous vide equipment in the next few weeks. Their previous line was canceled when their supplier couldn't meet their "lead free" requirements.
Saw a very interesting article on how to vacuum seal marinades, sauces, or other liquids with a normal home vacuum sealer. Normally the liquid will get sucked up into the machine if you try to vacuum seal it. The people at Gothamist came up with an ingenious plan
One of the most popular methods in molecular gastronomy is the creation of foams. While they are associated with modernist cuisine, foams have been used for centuries and range from meringues and whip cream to bread and quiche. Here we will look at how to make a foam with soy lecithin.
I had read several announcements that Sur La Table was going to be releasing a line of sous vide thermal immersion circulators in November but I had yet to actually see anything on their website. I emailed their media relations department and asked about their release and they sent me a nice note back.
One of the big concerns over sous vide is how safe it actually is to cook foods at lower temperatures. Many people seem to think that it is unsafe to consume foods that have not been cooked at high temperatures. There are different concerns for restaurants and home cooks, and between food that will be served right away and food that will be held in in the refrigerator or freezer for a long period of time.
At the Caterer and Hotelkeeper Equipment and Supplies Excellence Awards the Clifton Food Range took first in the Food Preparation Equipment category. The Clifton Food Range makes digital water baths focused on sous vide and other slow cooking methods.
There is a new sous vide book announced. It is by Nathan Myhrvold, the former chief technology officer at Microsoft. Nathan has contributed greatly on the eGullet.org forums about sous vide cooking. His book is scheduled for release sometime during 2009.
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